Inside Rock Hudson's Old $55.5 Million Estate
Rock Hudson once was one of the most famous actors in the world. And the star of films like "Pillow Talk" and the TV series "McMillian and Wife" lived like it in a glorious mansion in Beverly Hills.
His old home has been listed for sale for a whopping $55.525 million. The estate, which has 24,370 square feet of interior space, also used to be owned by the late Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen until his death in 2018.
The home has been remodeled but still holds much of its old Hollywood charm from when Hudson owned the property. Come take a look inside.
It's Worth 330 Times Its Price Tag From 1961
Originally, Universal Pictures bought the 1920s Spanish-style hacienda for Hudson as part of his last five-year extension contract with Universal. He owned it from 1962 until his death in 1985.
Before the purchase, Hudson was renting the home located at 9402 Beverly Crest Drive. It belonged to "Ben-Hur" actor Sam Jaffe, who had put it up for sale in 1961 for $167,000. Adjusted for inflation, that's still just $1.52 million today.
Sixty years later, It's selling for 37 times that inflation-adjusted price, and over 330 times what it sold for in 1961.
The Yard Is Pretty Big
Rock Hudson was one of the most popular movie stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, where he frequently played the heartthrob character. He never won an Academy Award, but he was nominated for his role in the 1956 George Stevens "Giant."
That was Hudson's only Oscar nomination in his career. But his hilltop estate was 3.2 acres. So he had plenty of room to live like a giant the rest of his life.
Top-Down Aerial View of This Historical Place
This was no ordinary pad, and it had several structures.
There's a five-bedroom main house, a "cinema building", a two-bedroom guest house, a two-bedroom staff quarters and a huge one-bedroom recording studio.
A Cinema Building Fit for a Movie Legend
Hudson was a massively popular star during his time. His career spanned the mid-1940s until his death in 1985.
During the 1950s, he starred in over 30 films and brought in roughly $3.5 billion in inflation-adjusted box office tickets, more than Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and John Wayne during that era.
Kick Back With the Golden Age of Hollywood
The movie theater has a separate, 1,877-square-foot building, and it includes a massive, wall-length screen.
It's unclear if this building was around during Hudson's time, or it was Paul Allen's creation, but we believe it's the latter. Allen bought the home in 1997 and made additions to the property, according to the New York Post.
A Curvy Stairwell That's Plenty Groovy
According to the listing, the home is a 1920s Spanish-style stucco home. Hudson lived here until he died of AIDs-related a illness in 1985 at the age of 59.
While he played a heterosexuals heartthrob on screen, the iconic actor was gay, and was forced to keep his sexuality a secret due to the very conservative times.
Not That's a Large Living Room
Hudson briefly married Phyllis Gates. It was a move made because a popular gossip magazine called Confidential threatened to out Hudson publicly.
In response, Hudson's agent, Henry Wilson (who was also gay), made Hudson marry Gates, his secretary, in 1955. The marriage only lasted three years.
However, Gates didn't know that Hudson was gay, or that the whole marriage was a sham. After a troubled marriage, she divorced Hudson and received $250 per week for 10 years ($130,000 total), and never spoke to him again.
A Foyer Fit for a King
The house features a library, chef's kitchen, gym, massage room, walk-in closets, a limestone master bathroom and a screening room in addition to the cinema building.
Amazing Views of Downtown Los Angeles
Hudson nicknamed his home "The Castle." It's easy to see why.
Perched on a hilltop, the estate has sweeping views of downtown Los Angeles.
Double Life of Rock Hudson
When Hudson died of AIDS-related causes in October 1985, it was a big shock. Outside of Hollywood, Hudson's sexuality was mostly a secret.
As details about his death spread through magazines like People, it put yet another face on the rampant AIDs epidemic that the Ronald Reagan presidential administration refused to adequately address, even though Ronald and Nancy were both friends with Hudson.
Going Up in a Home Elevator
The stucco-style house is only two stories tall, but it has an elevator to help those who need it.
This is likely an upgrade by Allen, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma in 2009 and died in 2018 at the age of 65.
Welcome to Neptune Valley
Another addition by the late philanthropist is this structure, which is a glass-and-steel recording studio/office. It features wall-to-ceiling glass made set in an angular pattern.
There's also a waiting-room style lounge area with a mounted television, and what appears to be an office space with glass walls in the center.
Allen called the 9,163-square-foot building Neptune Valley.
You Can Be Everywhere at Once
Aside from being a genius and major philanthropist, Allen also was a musician. He played guitar since the age of 16, having been inspired by Jimi Hendrix.
In 1996, Allen founded the group Grown Men and played guitar with the group, which mostly played club gigs and corporate events.
Later, he played guitar with his band Paul Allen and the Underthinkers, which released an album in 2013. Their first and only album, "Everywhere at Once," was likely recorded here.
The Home Got a Major Price Increase
After Allen's death, his mega yacht (a $300 million vessel named Octopus) and a $100 million, 120-acre parcel of undeveloped land in Beverly Hills went up for sale.
In 2020, this mansion was reported to have sold for $35.25 million to an undisclosed buyer, but it appears the deal fell through. Then, Mansion Global reported that the home had gone up for sale at $41.48 million.
According to The New York Post, the house is still being old by Allen's estate and executed by his sister, Jody Allen. It's also $14 million more expensive than its initial listing in October 2019.
Neptune Valley Has a Stunning Entrance Path
Neptune Valley is set off from the main house, and you'll have to take a flight of narrow stairs down to a stone path to reach it.
The property is set on a hill, so the stairs are rather steep, and pass by the pool. It's a good 100 feet or so out from the main mansion.
Nice Paths and Walkways to Admire the Scenery
The mansion is set in an U-shape and surrounds a courtyard that houses a small, 1920s style pool.
Around that courtyard are plants, shady palms and long places to walk and admire the scenery.
How's This for a Courtyard?
Bougainvillea plants dot the gorgeous courtyard, bringing in splashes of color.
It's absolutely gorgeous.
A Wading Pool With Amazing Views
While beautiful, this wading pool isn't the main pool on this property. For those who want to go for a proper swim, you only need to head down a few short flights of steps.
Slightly below this area is the main pool, which spans the length of the entire courtyard.
Built for Entertaining at Any Time of Day
At night, soft yellow lighting illuminates the courtyard.
Hudson truly enjoyed this property. He spent 23 years living and renovating the place and added a greenhouse to the grounds, but that seems to have been removed by Allen.
There are photos on YouTube of the home being remodeled when Hudson owned it. They apparently came from Hudson's personal photo collection.
Hudson at Home
Here's a picture of Rock Hudson at home on Nov. 8, 1984. Hudson lived alone except for his live-in female housekeeper, had seven dogs and kept several lovers.
One of those lovers was Christian MacGinnis, who sued Hudson's estate for millions after he died. MacGinnis alleged that the actor had sex with him multiple times in the early 1980s despite the actor knowing he had the AIDs virus. In turn, the estate's lawyers called him a gold digger.
MacGinnis ultimately settled out of court for less than $6 million.
The Kitchen Has Been Modernized
The kitchen has been completely remodeled, as has much of the home.
According to The Queerest Places:
"The Castle was decorated in what one of Hudson‘s friends termed "early butch" — dark wood, pewter candlesticks, zebra skins, and an assortment of wrought iron. On the red-tiled patio stood sculptures of naked boys. The patio led to a 40-foot pool with a jacuzzi and lion’s head fountain, and a 20-foot barbecue that could cook enough meat to feed a hundred people. Also on the three-and-a-half acres was a greenhouse overflowing with orchids."
The Kitchen Has Lots of Light
When Hudson died, a memorial service was held at this property.
According to Queerest Places, several hundred people attended the service. Chili and margaritas were served, and a mariachi band played.
Hudson Never Locked the Front Door
In today's age of massive security forces at the beck and call of millionaire celebrities, it seems unthinkable that one of the biggest movie stars of Hollywood would live without locking his front door. Or the driveway gate.
But according to Queerest Places, "the gate to the house and the front door were never locked. A friend explained, 'He liked the excitement of the unknown.'"
The Dining Room
Hudson's illustrious Hollywood career began to decline in the 1960s, beginning with the back-to-back box office disappointments "Strange Bedfellows" and "A Very Special Favor" in 1965.
Hudson began starring in television movies and series by the 1970s, notably costarring with Susan Saint James in "McMillan and Wife," a procedural cop show that ran from 1971 to 1977.
The FBI Had a File On Hudson
It's absolutely insane to think about, but the FBI took an interest in Hudson in 1965.
According to released FBI documents, Hudson was not being directly investigated, but the bureau kept tabs on the actor under suspicion of homosexuality. Apparently an informant said he had an "affair" with the matinee star.
After the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, Hudson was releasing a movie, and the Los Angeles bureau wrote a memo to FBI director Herbert Hoover asking what they had found out about Hudson.
Luckily, those files didn't go anywhere, and Hudson was left alone. There's no evidence of his house being under surveillance.
Beautiful Skyline Views of the City of Angeles
Hudson continued acting into the early 1980s, although heart-related health problems forced him to turn down roles. He was offered the role of Colonel Sam Trautman in Sylvester Stallone's "First Blood," but was undergoing surgery at the time.
His last appearance was on the prime-time soap "Dynasty," where he played a wealthy horse breeder and biological father to Heather Locklear's character. He held that role for less than a year, from December 1984 to April 1985, but became too ill due to HIV-related complications and had to be written off the show.
What a Location, Location, Location
Paul Allen bought the house for $9.63 million in April 1997, as well as several other properties in the area.
In total, Allen bought properties amounting to 120 acres of incredibly valuable land, according to a 1997 report from the Orlando Sentinel.
Easy to Get Comfortable in This Living Room
After Hudson died, "Animal House" director John Landis purchased the home for an undisclosed amount.
Today, the homes sell for a median price of $3.3 million in the Beverly Hills neighborhood, according to realtor.com, with a price-per-square-footage of $1,081.
Rock Hudson's old home is nearly 20 times that sale price and has a price-per-square-foot of $2,278.
The Views Are Insane, Majestic, Magical. Pick a Superlative.
We believe that the massive pool was an addition made by Allen. Allen razed certain parts of the property and created entirely new amenities.
At the time of his death, Allen had an estimated net worth of $20 billion.
A Nice, Relaxing Library
Hudson's original home had a theater room, which had both a stage and housed his huge collection of films and records. He would perform on the stage to practice his roles.
There's a Tennis Court
A championship-sized tennis court, also an Allen addition, is located at the property's lowest level.
All the Privacy Anyone Could Want
The estate was private then, and it's private now. The home is protected by steep cliffs on all three sides, providing a natural barrier for whoever ends up spending $55.525 million on this property.
We're sure it comes with a security system, too.